We aimed to investigate whether dietary supplementation of methionine could mitigate intestinal oxidative injury in broilers under high stocking density (HSD). In the grower phase (d 22-42), 576 broilers with similar body weight were randomly chosen and divided into 8 groups in a 2 × 4 factorial experiment. Two different stocking densities (14 and 20 broilers per m) were tested with 4 different methionine levels: 0.35%, 0.4%, 0.45%, or 0.5%. Intestinal morphological and oxidative stress markers were assessed at the end of the test period. The results showed that mortality of broilers was significantly higher in the HSD group fed 0.35% methionine diet than the other groups, which was reversed by supplementation with 0.40% to 0.50% methionine. HSD significantly decreased feed intake and daily weight gain. HSD treatment significantly decreased T-AOC, activity of GPX (P < 0.01) and increased the level of PCO (P < 0.01), MDA (P = 0.052) of plasma. The decreased glutathione peroxidase activity in the liver and jejunum caused by HSD was alleviated by additional methionine. Supplementation of methionine increased the ration of GSH/GSSG in the plasma. The jejunum villus height and ratio of villus height to crypt depth under low stocking density conditions with 0.40% methionine diet were the highest, whereas the 0.45% methionine group was the highest under HSD conditions. Thus, additional dietary supplementation of methionine mitigates oxidative stress in broilers under HSD conditions and 0.40% to 0.45% methionine can be applied in cage rearing broiler production for amelioration of oxidative stress caused by HSD.
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